|10-29-2008, 10:09 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
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Trollope, Anthony: The Fixed Period, v.1, 29 October 2008.
The Fixed Period (1882)
First published anonymously in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1882.
This is one of the most unusual of Trollope’s novels. It is an ironic futuristic dystopia about enforced euthanasia: A sort of Logan’s Run for 67 year-olds, written when Trollope was 67.
Graham Handley writes of it:
“‘The Fixed Period’ is narrated in the first person by John Neverbend, and purports to be the memoirs of his time as the first President of Britannula, a fictional island near New Zealand. The story is set in the future, in 1980. A group of elite New Zealanders have set up a colony on the island and have freed themselves from British sovereignty, determined to set up a fair and practical government. One of the major principles advocated and enacted by Neverbend is that of forced euthanasia within the state. The Fixed Period for life is sixty-seven years. During their sixty-seventh year all the citizens must go to a special college where they will be well looked after whilst they prepare for death, which must occur within the year.
“‘The Fixed Period’ is one of the curiosities of Trollope's oeuvre. It is his only futuristic novel; it is the only one to be written in the first person; it is also his most obviously satirical work, from the same sly mould which produced Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’. Legend has it that Trollope claimed that what was in the book was ‘all true’, but in reality what was preoccupying him at the time was his advancing old age. He had just moved house again, to Harting in Petersfield, the book had been written during the bleak winter months, and the slyest joke of all in the text was that Trollope himself was in his sixty-seventh year.
Of making many books there is no end [Ecclesiastes, 12.12]
|classics, dystopia, english literature, euthanasia|
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